To lease or not to lease? That is the question once again facing Stone Town Council over the Frank Jordan Centre. In 2005, it took on the Victorian building on a 40-year repairing lease from the Borough Council but has an opportunity to hand it back at a 10-year break point in 2015.
By last year, faced with annual losses of £12,000, a £6,000 repair bill and further renovations, Stone Town Council was considering the hand back option. But in November, one of the tenants, support service Signposts expressed a potential interest in taking the centre over.
The Town Council agreed to suspend their decision for six months until April 2013 while Signposts examined the figures and discussed their plan with the Borough. But seven months later, and with no reply forthcoming from Signposts, Town Clerk Les Trigg will be asking town councillors to re-visit their decision on the Frank Jordan lease.
There may be, however, a compromise position. “I have been doing some investigation with the Borough Council about the possibility of inserting more than one break clause in the contract,” he told the Gazette. “If there was a get-out option every five years after 2015, it might give the Town Council more encouragement to keep it on.”